Advance Directives

Living Will, Durable Power of Attorney, and Health Care Proxy

The federal government, by law, requires WCCHS to inform patients of their right to refuse life-sustaining treatment. Patients have the right to provide an advance directive, a written statement about medical decisions that should be made on their behalf.

There are three forms of advance directives:

Living Will: a written document that specifies what type of medical treatment is desired.

Durable Power of Attorney for Health Care: a legal document that gives “power of attorney” to a designated person in the event of an incapacitating, medical event

Health Care Proxy Form: a legal document that designates another person to make medical decisions on the patient’s behalf.

WCCHS is required to document on medical records if a patient has an advance directive. It is advisable that you plan ahead of a scheduled surgery, on an individual you authorize to make decisions in a crisis situation on your behalf. Also, your directions allow physicians, staff and your family to make decisions for treatment based on your wishes if you are no longer capable of doing so.

WCCHS Admission Notice

Patients have the right to receive all of the hospital care that they need for the treatment of their illness or injury. Your physician will determine your discharge date based on your condition. WCCHS requests that you ASK QUESTIONS affecting your care and your insurance coverage. You have the right to designate a representative to act on your behalf should there be a question of your ability to make decisions. Before you are discharged, you must receive a written discharge notice and a written discharge plan. You and/or your representative have the right to be involved in your discharge planning. You may appeal the written discharge plan if you believe you are being discharged too early. Be sure you have received the notice of discharge that the hospital must give you before you appeal the decision. To avoid being charged for continued stay in the hospital, should you lose an appeal, please call for the appeal the very day you receive your notice of discharge.